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Old 09/19/2010, 06:20 AM   #76
Paul B
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However, most, if not all, of the fish you mentioned arent piscivores. They are opportunistic predators taking in crustaceans and similar for their natural diet. So, how would overloading them with an oil, which wouldnt necessarily be a natural intake item, make them "more breeder ready"?
Many fish are opportunistic feeders but if you do much diving on a reef you will see that the lower portions of a reef near the sand is loadad with fish fry. 99% of these fry are eaten before they grow. There are of course crustaceans that fish also eat but the main source of food is fish and those fish are loaded with oil.
There are many successful hobbiests with healthy fish, I am not disputing that. I am saying that a fish in breeding condition is a healthy, disease resistant fish and fish will get into that condition with a portion of their diet as oil. I know this from experience.
If your fish are not breeding or making breeding jestures, they are not as healthy as you believe. Healthy fish spawn continousely all year long, they never stop unless their health diminishes.
Fish in that condition have enhanced immune systems and rarely get sick, again, personal experience.
Worms for me are no problem. I throw them in my wormkeeper and when I need them I suck them out and mix them with other foods.
Earthworms have the same oils and also work as I have also used them. But chopping them up may lose some oil.
Whole fish are the best food but they are hard to come by in the size we need. I had a meeting with "Ocean Nutrition" about offering tiny fish and I even told them I know a supplier of tiny makeral about 1/4" long, they seemed interested then forgot about it.
That would be the best food, even better than worms but they are not available.
If you want to use worms, use worms, if it is too much trouble, feed flakes or pellets. But I doubt your fish will be very healthy and spawn or be disease resistant.
I also think my tank not having a disease problem in 35 years without quaranting at least alludes to the fact that feeding worms has something to do with it.
I can't offer any other proof.


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Old 09/19/2010, 06:32 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Paul B View Post
Many fish are opportunistic feeders but if you do much diving on a reef you will see that the lower portions of a reef near the sand is loadad with fish fry. 99% of these fry are eaten before they grow. There are of course crustaceans that fish also eat but the main source of food is fish and those fish are loaded with oil.
There are many successful hobbiests with healthy fish, I am not disputing that. I am saying that a fish in breeding condition is a healthy, disease resistant fish and fish will get into that condition with a portion of their diet as oil. I know this from experience.
If your fish are not breeding or making breeding jestures, they are not as healthy as you believe. Healthy fish spawn continousely all year long, they never stop unless their health diminishes.
Fish in that condition have enhanced immune systems and rarely get sick, again, personal experience.
Worms for me are no problem. I throw them in my wormkeeper and when I need them I suck them out and mix them with other foods.
Earthworms have the same oils and also work as I have also used them. But chopping them up may lose some oil.
Whole fish are the best food but they are hard to come by in the size we need. I had a meeting with "Ocean Nutrition" about offering tiny fish and I even told them I know a supplier of tiny makeral about 1/4" long, they seemed interested then forgot about it.
That would be the best food, even better than worms but they are not available.
If you want to use worms, use worms, if it is too much trouble, feed flakes or pellets. But I doubt your fish will be very healthy and spawn or be disease resistant.
I also think my tank not having a disease problem in 35 years without quaranting at least alludes to the fact that feeding worms has something to do with it.
I can't offer any other proof.
Well, I certainly agree with some of your points, but also respectfully disagree with others.

I do know that there is a plethora of microfauna, much of which contains fish fry. But, are you stating that these fish fry contain the massive livers that adult fish have (as per your shark consumption statement from earlier)? Fish fry are very undeveloped. Furthermore, many fish have natural diet very well known, and I would argue that fish fry dont play a significant role in many of the fish you mentioned. Again, Im not saying that fatty oils dont play an important role, but I dont that it is the "magic bullet" to automatic success that you are stating.

I VERY STRONGLY disagree with you that only healthy fish court and breed. The reproductive drive is an immensely strong drive. The animal world constantly shows this, and fish are no different. There are a HUGE number of reasons a fish WONT spawn, and chalking it up to poor health is flawed, IMO. And assuming that breeding fish are healthy is also flawed, IMO. Just my opinion.


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Old 09/19/2010, 11:08 AM   #78
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But, are you stating that these fish fry contain the massive livers that adult fish have
Yes I am. In proportion to their body weight, fish have about 20% of their weight as liver. A very young fish will also have a yoke sack that is mostly oil. By the way, the new borm brine shrimp I feed my breeding pipefish also have a yoke sack which is mostly oil. The oil in the liver is also used in buoyancy. I am not sure of the exact weight of a fishes liver but it is close to 20% in most fish. A shark has a liver that accounts for about 25% of it's weight.

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I VERY STRONGLY disagree with you that only healthy fish court and breed. The reproductive drive is an immensely strong drive. The animal world constantly shows this, and fish are no different. There are a HUGE number of reasons a fish WONT spawn, and chalking it up to poor health is flawed, IMO. And assuming that breeding fish are healthy is also flawed, IMO. Just my opinion.
Jmaneyapanda, it is fine if you disagree with me on this. I could debate this with you but there is no need. There are thousands of us here and most of us will disagree with each other most of the time.
It is a pleasure discussing this with you and I am happy you brought up an interesting discussion.
Have a great day.
Paul


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Old 09/19/2010, 11:29 AM   #79
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Yes I am. In proportion to their body weight, fish have about 20% of their weight as liver. A very young fish will also have a yoke sack that is mostly oil. By the way, the new borm brine shrimp I feed my breeding pipefish also have a yoke sack which is mostly oil. The oil in the liver is also used in buoyancy. I am not sure of the exact weight of a fishes liver but it is close to 20% in most fish. A shark has a liver that accounts for about 25% of it's weight.


Jmaneyapanda, it is fine if you disagree with me on this. I could debate this with you but there is no need. There are thousands of us here and most of us will disagree with each other most of the time.
It is a pleasure discussing this with you and I am happy you brought up an interesting discussion.
Have a great day.
Paul
Agreed. I appreciate your experience and your input, and it has made me think and evaluate my own practices, and just because we dont agree, doesnt mean we still cant learn.


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Old 09/19/2010, 12:28 PM   #80
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Paul:

You indicated you have experience with earthworms as an alternative. Could you elaborate, what species, how you fed and maintained them, how they compare to blackworms, etc.? They seem very easy to culture in large quantities.

Check out this kit:

http://www.unclejimswormfarm.com/ind...ypage.tpl.html



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Old 09/19/2010, 01:25 PM   #81
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I have used nightcrawlers that I collect in my yard and I have also used saltwater sand worms and salt water blood worms commonly sold as bait for salt water fish.
These worms are fantastic as food as they do not have any fat, just oil but they are large and if you chop them up, you lose most of the liquid inside the worm. I am not sure how much of a detriment this is because the oil in worms is mostly incorporated in the flesh of the worm and not like in a fish where it is concentrated in the liver.
I also have not fed these long enough to come to a real conclusion as to how good they are or if they are as good or better than blackworms. For me here in NY blackworms are very common and sold all over the place. But if I could not get them, I would use the other worms I mention.
Yes, I know, I am worm crazy.

If you use earthworms you should hold them up to a faucet and gently squeeze them their entire length to clear them of the dirt and possably insecticides that they may have in their gut.
I have many times used earthworms to feed bubble corals and anemones.


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Old 09/19/2010, 01:32 PM   #82
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I have used nightcrawlers that I collect in my yard and I have also used saltwater sand worms and salt water blood worms commonly sold as bait for salt water fish.
These worms are fantastic as food as they do not have any fat, just oil but they are large and if you chop them up, you lose most of the liquid inside the worm. I am not sure how much of a detriment this is because the oil in worms is mostly incorporated in the flesh of the worm and not like in a fish where it is concentrated in the liver.
I also have not fed these long enough to come to a real conclusion as to how good they are or if they are as good or better than blackworms. For me here in NY blackworms are very common and sold all over the place. But if I could not get them, I would use the other worms I mention.
Yes, I know, I am worm crazy.

If you use earthworms you should hold them up to a faucet and gently squeeze them their entire length to clear them of the dirt and possably insecticides that they may have in their gut.
I have many times used earthworms to feed bubble corals and anemones.
I have some large predatory fish, such as a trigger, puffer, and several decent sized wrasses so the worms being large should not be an issue and can feed them whole. I may consider the earthworms because with the kit posted above seems like a real easy set up to culture (they also sell a larger kit). This way I would not have to worry about insectacides or dirt.


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Old 09/19/2010, 01:37 PM   #83
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Your fish will thank you


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Old 09/20/2010, 03:25 AM   #84
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this day where hobbyists will dose 45 things, check parameters every day, culture live foods for corals, and breed at home, I felt this is a comparatively simple things. Heck, no more difficult than rinsing frozen foods before use, and I KNOW a lot of hobbyists do this.
I've never done any of those things in keeping marine animals in 20 years & don't plan on it in the future, except maybe breeding.

Like I said, for me blackworms aren't worth the trouble. The white worms can be fed marine flake & will stay fat, healthy, breed & sustain a population...............they are a lot LESS work & waaaay cheaper to buy.

Earthworms are free........plenty in my own yard & are also less work.


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Old 09/20/2010, 05:55 AM   #85
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I've never done any of those things in keeping marine animals in 20 years & don't plan on it in the future, except maybe breeding.
I don't either except I do hatch brine shrimp for the pipefish and small gobies.
The blackworms I just dump into a keeper, there is no work for them.
They occupy themselves and I don't have to play with them
I do however have to buy them every 2 weeks or so so it costs me $1.75.


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Old 09/20/2010, 06:58 AM   #86
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I've never done any of those things in keeping marine animals in 20 years & don't plan on it in the future, except maybe breeding.

Like I said, for me blackworms aren't worth the trouble. The white worms can be fed marine flake & will stay fat, healthy, breed & sustain a population...............they are a lot LESS work & waaaay cheaper to buy.

Earthworms are free........plenty in my own yard & are also less work.
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I don't either except I do hatch brine shrimp for the pipefish and small gobies.
The blackworms I just dump into a keeper, there is no work for them.
They occupy themselves and I don't have to play with them
I do however have to buy them every 2 weeks or so so it costs me $1.75.
Yes, guys, I know. Both of you have a lot of experience, and have found a good way for you. But, I'm merely commenting on the "average hobbyist". I fail to see how blackworms are any more "hassle" or are any more expensive than other diets that average hobbyists would use.


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Old 09/20/2010, 08:41 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by jmaneyapanda View Post
Yes, guys, I know. Both of you have a lot of experience, and have found a good way for you. But, I'm merely commenting on the "average hobbyist". I fail to see how blackworms are any more "hassle" or are any more expensive than other diets that average hobbyists would use.
I think you are giving the average hobbyist too much credit. The average RC Reef Fish forum user...sure. But not the average hobbyist. Check out my local board as an example


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Old 09/20/2010, 09:30 AM   #88
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I fail to see how blackworms are any more "hassle" or are any more expensive than other diets that average hobbyists would use.

I agree with you, they are not any more of a hassle or any more expensive than other diets. I buy a portion which is about $1.75. They last me a week or more because I just suppliment them, they are not the entire diet.


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Old 09/20/2010, 10:39 AM   #89
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Well, from a typical aquariasts' perspective, I can, indeed, see how and why blackworms can be hasstle to manage. If you do not have a source very local for them, then you need to buy them in larger volumes to make the the process manageable. As such, you then need to keep the larger volume in the refrigerator involving daily rinsing, and the worms will slowly die and get very thin. Plus, many of us just do not want these worms in our refrigerator. Alternatively, you need to build a blackworm keeper like Paul's which involves some effort and time, and you also obviously have to have a good place to keep the blackworm keeper and maintain the keeper regularly.

This is why I am very seriously considering the earthworms instead with the culture kit I posted above. This will maintain a 500-1000 worm population (depending on which size kit you purchase) in a separate small compact vessel which can be stored out of the way and that is very low maintenance and just requires being fed. The cost of these earthworm kits is $50 or less, including the worms, worm food, and everything you will need in an easy to assemble package as opposed to having to build something DIY. Worms are bred in all seasons and weather conditions inside your home in a closed system without soil or insectacides to worry about. Earthworms seem a lot easier. However, I am still not sure how good they are for marine fish to eat (and whether marine fish have interest in eating them at all) and investigating this issue before I take the plunge.



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Old 09/20/2010, 11:40 AM   #90
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Hi Paul, good to see you around... was just thinking about you the other day.


Like Peter and Paul (haha) and many others I have found that feeding CBW's seems to have a link to spawning behavior. Most recently I had (past tense) a pair of flame angels that started to spawn just a couple of days after I fed them with some very fresh and healthy (fat) CBW. They had never spawned prior to this. IIRC Peter had similar experience with regard to the fresh worms and spawning. Many FW fish keepers also believe in this correlation.

It seems that every time this topic comes up the nutrition part is brought into question. If we had the facts... well this conversation wouldn't exist. Until some sort of analytical data is measured and published (not holding my breath) I will accept the anecdotal evidence; and for anyone really, really concerned about it - just avoid them as a food option.

Like others here I include them as part of my feeding routine, not the sole food source. These days most (well, I dunno about this) people feed a variety of foods anyway. I have read at length the debates on FW boards about the benefits of them vs. possible vector for disease/parasites... I doubt this should concern SW fish... but again it's a calculated risk. I have yet to hear of anyone coming forward with evidence (or even claim) that CBW led to a disease/parasite problem in their SW tank.


As far as keeping them I find it very simple, but this may be because I only keep small quantities on hand. My LFS sells them by the "ounce"... which is like a handful I'm going to guess my tupperware is about 4x5 inches and 1 ounce covers the bottom with about 1/4" of worms. The most I ever buy are 2 ounces. I go through about an ounce ($1 here) a week. Every time I feed with them I rinse the container in the sink afterward. I just fill it up, let the worms settle for a second or two, then pour out and repeat a couple of times. I use tap water... maybe not the best idea but they don't seem affected by it. Maybe I'll give the RODI water method a try and see if I find a difference in their quality. The smell from this amount of worms is almost non-existent unless you put your nose to the container. Also getting fresh worms every week or two helps I'm sure.


As to why these little black squirmy's aren't more popular, I'm not sure. My kids love them, they always want to see and touch them when I feed the fish. Up until about a year ago I didn't even know of them as a food for SW fish... until Paul B spoke at our reef club. Then I realized that the worms in the bathroom sink of my LFS could be of some value to me. Paul ridiculed those of us being from California and not knowing about California Black Worms as SW fish food


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Old 09/20/2010, 12:36 PM   #91
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As a new black worm feeder I will throw in my 2 cents and observations.

I got the black worms on Friday (yes 3 days ago)

Caring for them:

Rising is no big deal at all, pour some water in, let the worms settle pour out excess water. Just did it when I opened the fridge and saw them.
(IMO - faster and easier then rinsing my frozen food - hands down.)
Makes for quick and fast snack and yes, my kids love to feed them to the fish.


Observations:
In Fish only tank (Butterflies, Angels, lion fish, Foxface, Tusk)

Friday night - put them in Butterflies went NUTS!!!! Rest of fish just kind of eye balled them

By Sunday -
butterflies - still little crack addits and cant get enough.
Foxface, loves them,
Tusk, loves them.
Angels - blue face - not interested, Singapore - some interested.
Lion Fish - (who eats large pellets, flake, ... pretty much anything) tries to figure out what everyone is doing and gets excited but I am wondering if they are just too small and he can't see them.

Reef Tank -(Tangs (powder blue, yellow), copper band, cardinals, anthias, wrasses ..... more)

Friday -

Cardinals which usually, when fed, sit in the back and just wait until the frenzy stops then come get food. Where front and center went almost as nuts as the butterflies in FO. Only ones that ate them Friday- (2 bangai - 2 pajama)

By Saturday - Cardinals & Copper band eating them like crazy (I only could get the copper band to eat mysis before this, so happy to have something different in his diet)

By Sunday - Every fish in that tank at them



My 2 cents:

I like them, because the fish go crazy which means to me they love them. They are easy to grab out of fridge and just plop in during the day for a quick treat. Rinsing is no big deal (assuming I am doing it right, and they live for about a week, which is the quantiy I bought for)


future observations:

I have a pair of bangai cardinals which have never had babies but are a pair, I believe, from watching their behavior) We will wait to see if anything happens.

The set of pajamas I would not call a pair based on their behavior, so I don't have any high hopes but will watch.


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Old 09/20/2010, 01:29 PM   #92
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Hi Tom, nice to see you.
Tom was nice enough to invite me to speak at the Northern Valley Reefers assn last year. My wife and I had a great time.
It is true, none of those Californians ever heard of California black worms

Anyway, keeping in mind that I do not sell blackworms and I have no vested interest in the selling or buying blackworms I am just telling my experiences.
This picture is my tank in about 1972 or so. I kept seven of these blue devils because they and dominoes were about the only fish available then. They lived hapily and swam around doing pretty much nothing for a year or so until I started giving them live worms.
After about two weeks one of them changed. All of them had a blue body with clear fins but one of them changed his clear fins to blue like the rest of the body. He was the male. In a few days he started chasing all the other ones around until they started to spawn in that barnacle shell behind him.
The eggs hatched but in the early 70s there was no food available to raise the fry. They lived and spawned every month or two for 7 years.
They were always given blackworms.



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Old 09/20/2010, 04:05 PM   #93
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I ordered my first batch of blackworms today. Time to see how my wrasses population likes them. Maybe my Earleis will spawn and I can start selling captive bred Earlei Wrasses (joke). I am alway wanting the most nutrition for my fishes so I am going to give these guys a try. My problem is no LFS locally sells them so I have to order online which could be a pain unless I start to culture my own at some point.


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Old 09/20/2010, 04:33 PM   #94
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Jim, don't forget, they only live for about 10 seconds in saltwater so you really need to target feed them. Don't dump too many in or they will just die under a rock.

Quote:
Hi Tom, nice to see you.
For some reason I called Jacob, Tom. I even kept doing that while I was with him in California. Maybe in a past life his name was Tom.
Sorry about that.


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Old 09/20/2010, 04:45 PM   #95
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Hahaha.. Paul you're funny man. I got your PM and I had no idea what you were talking about... then I saw this post. Maybe I was a Tom in a past life. I might have to look into that. I know it gets even more confusing with my screen name


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Old 09/20/2010, 04:49 PM   #96
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I tried some black worms from aquatic foods in CA and the fish loved them. Got a keeper for them also (shipping Fedex overnight was too much $) so.... My LFS has tubifex worms and I use them instead (no shipping and @$1.59/oz.) hard to beat. I wash them daily and use the keeper in the fridge. I have used freeze dried tubifex worms also and all the fish go for both the freeze dried and the live worms.


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Old 09/20/2010, 05:27 PM   #97
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I like feeding capelin eggs for some of the same reasons that are alluded to here. They hold up really well in saltwater even after freezing, they are greedily accepted by finicky fish, and if you want to get your fish into breeding mode it seems logical that eggs would have the right nutritional profile to do it (no, I don't have any data to back that up).

I also can't for the life of me figure out why there aren't more frozen fish egg options available. They are harvested for garnishing sushi of course, but are nearly impossible to find unseasoned and undyed. Rod's food apparently released a "fish eggs" product recently but it's no longer listed on their website.


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Old 09/20/2010, 08:47 PM   #98
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I am curious if there are worms that shouldn't be fed? we have available other small worms at the bait shop. Not nightcrawlers,although those are easily had as well, but a small thin red worm typically used for pan fishing.


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Old 09/20/2010, 09:38 PM   #99
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I thought rinsing would be a hassle and ignored these for the longest time due to that, but thanks to this thread and seeing them at 89 cents I picked some up anyway. Turns out that rinsing is super easy, and in no way should it be a turn off for those who browse this forum. Unfortunately, none of my angels, butterflies, or wrasses ate any today. Some of the angels nibbled at the ends and then ignored them. Hopefully this changes as it seems they're good food, cheap, and easy to maintain.


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Old 09/20/2010, 11:10 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul B View Post
I have used nightcrawlers that I collect in my yard and I have also used saltwater sand worms and salt water blood worms commonly sold as bait for salt water fish.
These worms are fantastic as food as they do not have any fat, just oil but they are large and if you chop them up, you lose most of the liquid inside the worm. I am not sure how much of a detriment this is because the oil in worms is mostly incorporated in the flesh of the worm and not like in a fish where it is concentrated in the liver.
I also have not fed these long enough to come to a real conclusion as to how good they are or if they are as good or better than blackworms. For me here in NY blackworms are very common and sold all over the place. But if I could not get them, I would use the other worms I mention.
Yes, I know, I am worm crazy.

If you use earthworms you should hold them up to a faucet and gently squeeze them their entire length to clear them of the dirt and possably insecticides that they may have in their gut.
I have many times used earthworms to feed bubble corals and anemones.
This is very interesting. In my basement I have a organic worm composting (red wigglers) farm that I use to fertilize my organic garden. The royal gramma I currently have in my main tank would not eat anything I fed it when he was originally purchased and placed in my quarantine tank. After a week of frustration I took one of my organic red wigglers, cut it into small pieces and dropped them in front of my RG. He instantly consumed each and every piece of the worm. It took me awhile, but I finally weened him into eating the normal food I was feeding my other fish (vitamin soaked frozen, mysis, brine shrimp, spirulina brine shrimp, etc.) I stopped feeding the worms as I thought it wasn't nutritionally healthy for my fish long term. After reading your posts Paul, it sounds like the red worms might be as healthy for my fish as the live blackworms. These redworms multiply so fast in my worm farm that they could provide an ultra healthy never ending food supply for my fish What do you think?

Thanks,

Robka


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